Students turn to furry friends for comfort

By on October 4, 2001

Pets allowed on campus? Yup, that’s right. You can bring your furry little friend along with you to college. This is a fairly old policy that Quinnipiac University decided to establish, so that students wouldn’t have to leave their cute little creatures at home. Most colleges do allow pets on campus, yet students are not aware of it because the school does not advertise it.
The animals permitted in the residence halls of QU are gerbils, rats, hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, small birds, small lizards, fish, turtles, and rabbits. These animals are all very small and fairly easy to maintain and control. They do not make disturbing noises to others and tend to be acceptable to most roommates who will be living with the owners of these creatures.
All roommates must agree prior to the pet’s arrival and the animals must be registered with the residence hall director. Other animals are prohibited, and illegal animals found in the residence halls are grounds for permanent loss of pet privileges and a possible change in the owner’s housing status.
“RA and hall directors do room inspections to make sure there are no illegal animals in the residence halls and that legal animals are registered,” said Sabrina Tanbara, assistant director of residential life. “The reason for this is to prevent any problems with animals that are illegal damaging school property and to prevent unregistered animals from being left in the rooms during school vacations.”
Pet privileges may also be lost if the owner does not properly care for, house, and prevent any damage the animal may cause. Animals are strictly prohibited from roaming free. This would greatly disturb other students and put the animal at risk of getting injured, and it allows for the animal to have a greater opportunity to possibly damage school grounds or property.
“Pets on campus are the least of policy violation problems, which is the reason there are no specific or harsh punishments for breaking the rules,” Tanbara said. “Students with pets are all very responsible, which makes us more than happy to allow for pets in the residence halls.”
You may be wondering if people actually do bring their pets to school with them. Surprisingly, many people do, and some have even bought pets once they arrived at Quinnipiac and made the little creature the responsibility of everyone in the room. Melissa Alchemia, a freshman at QU, has a pet crayfish.
“I brought StinkyJack to school with me because I needed something to keep me busy,” Alchemia said.
She has only had the fish for five weeks and purposely bought it so she could bring it with her to school. She said that the crayfish is not very hard to take care of.
“All I have to do is change the water once a week,” she said.. “My roommates won’t really help me out with it. I went home for a weekend and I had to leave StinkyJack with my RA because my roommate refused to watch him and the other two went away for the weekend too.”
Alchemia said that her roommates didn’t mind her having a pet, not even the roommate who doesn’t like StinkyJack.
“She just doesn’t want to take care of him or have anything to do with him, but she doesn’t mind as long as I keep him on my desk,” she said.
Alchemia explained that she would like to bring StinkyJack to school again with her next year if her roommates approve.
Alexis Greenberg, said that she and her roommates in the Commons didn’t realize when they first came to QU that pets were allowed on campus. When they found out, they decided to purchase a baby mouse, which would be under the care of all four of them.
“I came up with the idea after I saw other people with pets in their rooms,” said Greenberg. “I figured it would be fun to get a pet that all of us [roommates] could take care of together. I know this sounds corny, but I think it is kind of like a bonding experience.”
Denise Thompson, one of her roommates, said, “We all love pets and were upset that we had to leave our dogs and cats at home. If we get a mouse, it won’t be like my dog, Frisky, but at least I’ll have someone to take care of and talk to when I’m bored.”
This policy of allowing students to bring their pets on campus has made many students happy and allowed them to take a little piece of their home with them.
“If I didn’t bring Iggy with me, I wouldn’t have been able to stop thinking about him,” said freshman Rob Sorrentino, who has a pet lizard. “I’ve had him for two years and have taken care of him every single day since I got him. He is like one of my boys. I was so happy when I found out I could take him with me.”
QU tries its very best to make students happy and get them well adjusted to their new environment. The goal is to make each and every student’s college experience the very best it can be.


About Christine Dixon- Staff Writer